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From Clicks to Check-In: Mastering the Art of Positive First Impressions

Last updated on April 12, 2024
5 minute read
Key Takeaways

  • Easy ways to ensure your website is your brand ambassador
  • How to nail a seamless check-in experience for your guests
  • Build a solid customer satisfaction score and gain more positive reviews

Skill Level


Anyone who has ever been on a first date knows that first impressions matter. From the way they dress to how they talk to the server, these details are subconsciously stored away for you to make a judgment call later.

The same thing occurs with your business. Customers will judge your signage, printed materials, website, and overall experience before they decide whether or not to come back or suggest your activity to friends.

From the moment a customer arrives, they form an opinion of your quality, and that ties directly back to the credibility you want to build.

Building Customer Trust Before They Book

Your website is your brand ambassador. Everyone uses their mobile phones to look up the nearest fun activity, whether they’re on vacation or not. If you want to make a great first impression, you need a clean, easy-to-navigate, and 100% mobile-responsive web presence.

The goal is to make your visitor comfortable booking with your business. Some quick tips to help you achieve this include:

  • Accurate Tour Descriptions: Ensure your tour or activity is described precisely. An authentic portrayal can set the right expectations and build trust that leads to conversions. 
  • Clear Policies: Nobody likes last-minute surprises. Make your cancellation policies, refund processes, and bad weather exemptions as clear as possible. 
  • Up-to-date Information: Omnichannel branding is more than a great logo. Part of making a good impression is having the most accurate contact information updated so your customers can reach whoever they need when they have questions. 
  • We’ve provided a complete list of other tips for your website here

Pro Tip: A great way to ensure your website is easy to use is to check its accessibility with current ADA standards. There is a free checker you can use to see how well your site works for those who are blind, deaf, or have some other accessibility challenge. 

The Second “First” Impression

After your customers have booked a tour through your highly engaging and easy-to-use website, they will arrive at your facilities. This is where the spotlight shifts from any online presence to the real, in-person deal. Now, you need to nail the physical first impression.

How your reception area, campsite, or tour meeting point looks will set the tone of the customer experience. Try to align your appearance to the demographics you’re targeting and the impression you want to leave.

Everything about this impression is the details. For example:

  • A tour guide meets at a specific historic location, dock, or famous restaurant.
  • Easy-to-locate lockers or restrooms for your customers’ convenience.
  • Visible team members help alleviate the challenge of navigating a new area with tourists.

Those small gestures are what will show up in your online reviews and ultimately lead to more bookings.

The Check-In Experience

Okay, you’ve nailed the website to drive a good online following and secure bookings. Your location is ready to accept customers, and has those little touches you know everyone will love. What’s next?

The final part of your “first impression” is how they check-in. The goal is to make this entire process as smooth as possible so your customers can maximize the time they get with your brand. That will give them the perception of “added value.”

Don’t worry. This doesn’t take a ton of work. Here are the basics you can expand upon to fit your brand:

  • Friendly Staff: Every customer touchpoint with your team should be a professional and positive experience. Make it authentic, but encourage smiles, good-natured responses, and helpful information.
  • Quick & Easy: The check-in process should be incredibly smooth, from confirming the reservation to making a payment or deposit. We highly recommend a digital check-in. Younger audiences love these features. We’ve included other suggestions for your check-in here.
  • Positive Ambiance: There is a “good energy” vibe you want to set in your business, from your staff to your location.
  • Ready to Chat: Many customers will choose to arrive early. They are probably excited about what you have to offer. Make sure you have a team member who is good at small talk and genuinely interested in welcoming your early birds.

Your customers’ first impression of your tour company matters. You want to maximize this opportunity to the best of your ability so they leave fantastic reviews and come back for more. 

Do your best to make that first impression matter, and you’ll watch your bookings soar. If you’re looking for more great tips on building a solid customer satisfaction score, be sure to read our article here. Good luck! 


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